By Ruth Barringham
Like all the writers, I know how hard it can be to sit down and write every day.
There are some (but not many) writers who get up every day looking forward to doing their writing and they can’t wait to start. Not only that, but they can keep going for hours, completely and happily focused on their work.
For the rest of us, it’s not that easy to get going every day.
But recently I stumbled across something that actually motivates me to sit and write every day.
Not only that, but it also makes me eager to get started.
And it’s so simple anyone can do it.
It all started a few weeks ago when I was going on a 1.5-hour train journey into the city.
I was also going to be staying there overnight and knew that I’d have a bit of time on my hands while I was there, plus the 1.5-hour return journey.
I arrived at the station 20 minutes early, so I went to the shops across the road and bought an A5, spiral bound notebook (with a nice cover) and a pen.
I then sat at the station and wrote in my new journal while I waited for the train, and while I was on it, and at the hotel room that night, and again on the return journey home.
What amazed was that I had no idea how absorbing it would be.
The reason I bought the notebook and pen in the first place was because I wanted to work out a new writing strategy to get more done of what I want to do every day, and I decided to write out my thoughts and ideas to see if it made it any clearer in my own mind.
And it worked out even better than I thought because once I started writing, not only could I not stop, but I couldn’t wait to get back to it and do some more.
What I was writing in my new journal wasn’t even interesting.
I think it was just fun to do because there was no pressure with it. No one else would ever see it, nor would it ever be published so I was free to write whatever was in my head.
And the following is what I wrote on the first two to three pages, just so you can see how rambling it was: -
I want to:
Write books - lots of them
I Don’t Because:
doing website work
I Don’t Want To:
do website work
So why do I do these things?
Because they say it’s how you keep readers interested and eager to buy your books.
John Locke has sold millions of novels yet only had a small insignificant blog that he no longer updates.
I suppose his “secret” is that he’s written a lot of books and many of them are part of a series.
He writes thrillers which are a popular genre.
They say it’s possible to write 2 ebooks a week. But they can’t be great books and it leaves no time for anything else at all.
Perhaps that’s what I should do. Just write all day through the week and do nothing else.
I can’t write all day every day because my brain gets tired and my creativity starts to dry up.
Plus I have other things that need doing -
Every day I MUST get the cleaning up done first. I cannot sit down and concentrate on writing if the dishes aren’t done and the house is dirty.
But I’m up at 5am so I should have the dishes done by 7am and then get the cleaning done by 10 or 11 on a Monday and then sit down to write and work through till 3pm
On Tuesdays I can sit down at 7am and finish by 11am. That gives me 3 hours to write and one hour for typing, uploading, etc.
...And on and on I rambled trying to look for pockets of wasted time and trying to re-organise my working days.
As you can see, I was simply brain-dumping my thoughts onto the page.
But it did help me to think clearer. Eventually.
And now I journal almost daily.
I don’t have to try and motivate myself to write every day, because I now look forward to sitting down with my journal first, and my journal entries help me to clarify what I want to write about and why.
So now It’s easy to sit down and write every day.
I just get out my journal and pen and start writing about whatever is in my crazy monkey mind.
Then once I’m finished, I close my journal, open my writing book and get straight to work.
Journalling is the best motivation for writing I’ve every come across.
And it probably works so well because it’s pressure-free writing.
If you’re having trouble getting started with your writing every day, maybe journalling can help you too.
It can’t hurt because at the very least it gets you going.